My dear American Friends:
PRESENT IS PRESENT! The fact that I am living presently is a great present from God. We know so many people who had to die yesterday and they wished to live "today", and we are living "today." I am preaching regularly to the senior citizens, especially since I became President of the Senior Preachers' Association. Every time when we meet, we find out that someone left us to be with the Lord, and we discuss trying to figure out God's Will why we are living today. This way, we try not to waste any of God's time which was given to us presently. Actually, everything about today is God's present to us. I talked about it through radio the other day, and so many people called to comment on it. One well-known Christian writer who is dying by cancer in a hospital made this remark that "If God gave me cancer, it must be a present from God also." Frankly, I did not think that far and I didn't know what to answer. But she is right, If God gave me cancer today, God must have a purpose of giving it to me. So IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE HEALED and at the same time, IT IS WONDERFUL NOT TO BE HEALED TOO. One thing is sure that God loves us whether we are healed, or not healed. I am beginning to understand the real meaning of Psalm 119: 71 "It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes,,,"
Having taught Homiletics at the Bible Colleges for so many years, there are not a few preachers in Korea who imitate my preaching style. The other day, I preached at a Church in a good distance, and one Church member said "you preach just like so-and-so." I happened to remember that preacher so-and-so was one of my homiletic students and is a well known evangelist presently, so I mentioned that he was one of my students. But the Church member wouldn't believe me...he still think that I am an imitation preacher. I really do not care who is an imitator as long as Gospel is preached, but at least, I hope that the students will learn to imitate the spiritual factors of their teachers rather than the physical factors. That is, the BEING OF THE TEACHERS IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT than the technics. Actually, I cry, I jump, I run while I preach, it must not be easy to catch my 'being'.
The other day, we had an accident. One of our smaller children was playing and running around. I guess, they were playing something like 'hide and seek,' and one child decided to hide in an old abandoned refrigerator. Whole house was in a panic sometime, but eventually and fortunately, we found him. His first comment when he was rescued was 'it was so dark inside.' I guess it was dark. I guess it is dark where there is no light. Actually, IF THERE IS NO LIGHT, IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE WHETHER WE HAVE EYES OR NOT. If there is no sun, no matter how much electricity there is, this world is still dark. I guess that's why Jesus came. "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (Jn 1: 5)"
One of the letters I received from the audiences of my radio messages said "Everytime when I listen to your preaching, my dark room seem to light up!" He said that he listened to the tape one hundred times and the tape is worn out. I remember comment of a North Korean Christian who said that, SINCE SHE COULD NOT HAVE A BIBLE, SHE RECITED THE LORD'S PRAYER ONE THOUSAND TIMES IN A SUNDAY.
Another North Korean preacher who was imprisoned in North Korea twice told me about the way he had worship service in prison...actually he had whole worship service by himself, announcing "Lord, I am going to start the worship by singing 'Jesus loves me.'" "Now I will pray." and so on. Even if he had no listeners but Jesus, I bet whole Army of Heaven's angels was his audience!
Yours because of Calvary,
YOON KWON CHAE
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